Harry Redknapp says Louis van Gaal has kept his Manchester United job on reputation alone – and has warned the club has a huge rebuilding job ahead.
Van Gaal’s position at Old Trafford has been the subject of speculation for several months, but the Dutchman has come through several tough spells to keep hold of his job going into another big week with games against Shrewsbury and FC Midtjylland.
Redknapp said in his Daily Telegraph column: “Van Gaal is approaching the end game and if he loses against Shrewsbury or Midtjylland there will surely be no more excuses for the United board.
“He came in as one of the great managers in world football and it’s only his past reputation that has kept him in a job now. I think he would have been long gone if United’s board didn’t believe there was a slim chance the players would start responding to him again.”
Jose Mourinho is the odds-on favourite to be the next United manager after Van Gaal, but Redknapp has warned that there are far bigger issues than simply the man in the dugout.
“Mourinho will have a massive task on his hands if, as expected, he does succeed the Dutchman as manager,” Redknapp said.
“They have spent over £300 million under David Moyes and Van Gaal but are nowhere near where they want to be. They are way off it, no more than a fourth or fifth-placed team in the Premier League.
“Whether it was the manager, or head of recruitment, who signed all these players, somebody has to put their head above the parapet and admit to it. If you worked in a company and spent millions making bad decisions you’d get the sack, so why should it be any different for football?
“Mourinho will need to tear it up and start again because there is no evidence of a team there any more. They are miles away from Manchester City, who have five or six fantastic players, and will probably add another three or four more when Pep Guardiola comes in over the summer.
“Where do United go with that team now? All that money spent on average players. Memphis Depay thinks he’s way better than he is, so they tell me, and Anthony Martial has been no world-beater either.
“Apart from the goalkeeper, I can’t see any world-class players and if David de Gea decides to up sticks this summer then they will be in a right mess.
“It’s going to need Mourinho and his super-agent, Jorge Mendes, to work out some pretty eye-catching deals, that’s for sure!”